When the “big dry” hit, we knew we needed to do something.
Being the novices we were at the time we were spending thousands on hand feeding the stock, after all even the resourceful Dorper can’t live on dirt! I recall the days of driving the hay through the dirt, no grass in site, and the sheep running a pace so fast towards us you would think you were in the middle of a dust storm, and the endless trudging with bags of sheep pellets just so the girls could have some sustenance.
But this just wasn’t working. It was like having a funnel down the throat of the sheep and we were just pouring down dollars.
My husband and I coined onto the idea of growing grass in greenhouses. We spent many nights of debate and many hours in the car investigating the possibilities. We mapped out the plastic and the framework needed to build such a device, however on talking to others and further investigation we found that this was the best way to grow mould and kill your stock. We were completely shattered.
That is until one day we stumbled across a company named Fodder Solutions.
It was almost like they were mind reading.
They had a compact system, like a magic box, which had an air-conditioning unit, sprinklers, trays, racks, thermo control… and the best bit was they had taken into consideration how NOT to grow mould!
My dear husband spent many days crunching numbers, hay and pellet costs VS the cost of the system. The decision was finally made to go ahead and make the big purchase.
On the day it was due for delivery we waited around like children on a Christmas morning, then it finally arrived, rolled off the truck and was ready for use.
I remember the awe I felt opening the doors on our sixth day, ready to feed out our first lot of fresh GREEN (that was the biggest hit!) barley grass. Then the utter heartbreak when the sheep wouldn’t even look at it, they seemed to look around you thinking this weird smelling green alien was a joke, and the real food was coming.
Days of this went by… Then one plucky little ewe took the plunge and sunk her teeth into the grass, she couldn’t stop eating. Sheep as we know are followers and this one little girl started the onslaught we still know today, thundering hooves from hills away followed by a chorus of bleating and the feed you so carefully laid out is gone before you turn around.
The "fodder shed" is now my husbands (and bonus "son" Cameron's) relax time. They like nothing more then opening those doors, pulling out the green grass that grew almost like magic, then meticulously filling the new trays to start the cycle again.